OlympicATH
Topic Author
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2001 8:43 am

CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:28 am

Hi everybody!

I'll be flying United CDG-IAD and back in Economy (not Plus) in early November. I've never flown UA transatlantic before (or any US carrier for that matter) and was wondering what I can expect in terms of IFE, meals and service, mainly compared to Air France. I know both carriers fly the 772 on the route and I confess I would have chosen AF if it wasn't €100 more expensive. Was that a mistake?
Also, what's the 777 like? UA's 772s are 9-abreast right? I've only flown 343, 333, 747 and 767 long-haul, is the 777 really that noisy? I realy enjoy the relative silence on the A340.

Thanks a lot
 
747fan
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:43 pm

In terms of IFE, you can expect PTV's, albeit rather small ones without AVOD. But at least you'll get a PTV. All 777's are 9 abreast, with most being 3-3-3 including AF and DL; UA's are 2-5-2, which I actually prefer unless I'm in one of the middle seats between the aisles. The 777 isn't too bad in terms of noise, but it is rather loud on takeoff (even if you're sitting up front due to the engines' powerful-sounding fan drone; this is especially true on GE 777's such as AF's, not as bad on UA's PW birds) and during climbout all the way up to cruising altitude. Once you reach cruising altitude, it quiets down a bit, but isn't exactly quiet. Its comparable to a 767 and 747, definitely not as quiet as A330/A340. You will enjoy the 777's takeoff and climb performance, which is my favorite part of flying one on a longhaul flight. Its TO/climb performance is comparable to a 767 and A330 (maybe a little better than A330), and much better than the 747 and A340. Like the other legacy carriers, their service is hit or miss, but UA is usually fine in the service and meal department, if not up to AF's level. If AF flew an A330/A340 on this route, than I'd go with them since that is my favorite longhaul plane (due to its quietness, which I prefer to exciting takeoffs) if their price was similar or maybe $100-200 more expensive. But since they're both 777's, I would go with either airline - they're not that much different since its Y. Now J/F class is another story; my choice for that would be AF hands down, although that may change in a few months w/ UA's wonderful-looking new premium products!  spin  Not that I would be able to try them up front anyway, due to limited funds.  Wink
 
roseflyer
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:29 pm

Check out some trip reports. There are economy reports for long haul AF and UA over there.

In economy there isn't a huge difference in service levels between AF and UA in economy. The seats are narrow with 31'' pitch.

You'll get decent food. It's not that special. I don't think it is completely bad though in economy. You'll have flight attendants giving food just as you would at AF. However on UA you won't be able to speak in your native language unlike AF.

Quoting OlympicATH (Thread starter):
Also, what's the 777 like? UA's 772s are 9-abreast right? I've only flown 343, 333, 747 and 767 long-haul, is the 777 really that noisy? I realy enjoy the relative silence on the A340.

The 777 is quieter than the 767. On takeoff and landing especially it is louder than the A330 and A340. However in cruise there isn't much of a difference. The reason is that the cabin air circulations system on the 777 is a lot louder, so when you don't have all the wind and engine noise that you find in cruise, the 777 is louder.

UA overall isn't that bad. It's not stellar personalized service like you'll find on SQ, but it's pretty good. For check in at least, UA is pretty good for international flights. Flying domestic economy usually means long lines, but UA treats its international passengers better.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
AlexPorter
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Sun Oct 21, 2007 1:06 am

I've never flown United. However, I did fly US Airways CDG-PHL this summer. This is relevant since they use the same departing area at CDG. Just a warning: If you are thirsty or hungry, eat/drink BEFORE you go through security, which is unlike most U.S. Airports. After security, the UA/US satellite has only one concessions area. Also, your IAD flight leaves out of that satellite at about the same time as the US Flight to PHL and another UA flight to ORD. The line for the one concession stand was 45 minutes long. There were no lines for the concessions before security. Both of them basically sell the same stuff, but since that satellite has three U.S.-bound flights at that time, all the Americans are used to waiting until after security for such things, so you'll be wise to use concessions before security. However, unlike some CDG T-1 satellites, yours does have a lavatory so no worries there.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
goldorak
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:47 am

Quoting OlympicATH (Thread starter):
what I can expect in terms of IFE, meals and service, mainly compared to Air France.

IFE : pretty similar (same screen size), but obviously a different choice of movies between the 2 airlines
seat comfort : similar
service : AF is much much better than UA, especially in Y : better food, free champagne, free alcohol on AF

Quoting OlympicATH (Thread starter):
Was that a mistake?

for me YES. In addition to the difference of service, departing from CDG1 for UA is a nightmare from check-in to final boarding, while for AF to IAD you now depart from the brand new very nice satellite S3 of Term 2E. Everything is inefficient and takes forever at T1 : be sure to arrive at least 3 hrs before.

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 3):
Also, your IAD flight leaves out of that satellite at about the same time as the US Flight to PHL and another UA flight to ORD. The line for the one concession stand was 45 minutes long. There were no lines for the concessions before security. Both of them basically sell the same stuff, but since that satellite has three U.S.-bound flights at that time, all the Americans are used to waiting until after security for such things

True. I took the IAD UA flight in june and had to queue about 1hr to pass the single X-ray check lane (and every 5 minutes, a person on a wheelchair was bring to the check-point and as they have priority, so it really took forever). The US air PHL and UA ORD flights were leaving at approx the same time from the same satellite. My IAD flight was delayed for 45 min time to wait for all the pax who were at security.
 
b777a340fan
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:28 pm

Quoting OlympicATH (Thread starter):
Was that a mistake?

NOPE! I LOOOOOOOVE UAL! Flown it five times now. Loved it everytime. I even got upgraded to E+ once.

Quoting 747fan (Reply 1):
UA's are 2-5-2, which I actually prefer unless I'm in one of the middle seats between the aisles.

Me too!  checkmark 

Quoting Goldorak (Reply 4):
service : AF is much much better than UA, especially in Y : better food, free champagne, free alcohol on AF

I thought alcohol was free on transatlantic flight on UAL? I may be wrong since I don't drink.... but I actually think the opposite. I've thought of AF's service quite subpar. Not to say that UAL's was the likes of SQ or EK, but they were courteous and were always trying to please the customers. AF seems to have this snooty, I don't care attitude that I absolutely despise. I guess it's a matter of personal tastes.

Quoting Goldorak (Reply 4):
In addition to the difference of service, departing from CDG1 for UA is a nightmare from check-in to final boarding, while for AF to IAD you now depart from the brand new very nice satellite S3 of Term 2E. Everything is inefficient and takes forever at T1 : be sure to arrive at least 3 hrs before.

I actually like going through CDG1, it's cool. I didn't find much troublesome. But again, maybe it's just me.
 
AlexPorter
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:20 pm

I had a minimal security wait at T1 at CDG, less than five minutes at most. I don't know if this is normal or if I was lucky. Also, the archtecture of T1 is retro but pretty cool. However, this mostly applies to the main lobby and those escalators you go through when you are between the ticket counters and the security point. However, once in the satellite it is dumpy and inefficient.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
747fan
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:51 pm

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 6):
Also, the archtecture of T1 is retro but pretty cool.

Though I wouldn't exactly call CDG T1 a model of efficiency, it is quite neat to pass through, especially in the middle of the "doughnut" when you transit between floors on those escalator tubes. When you look out of the tube and see all those escalator tubes crossing each other, it looks rather futuristic and is very neat. It almost reminds me of the Jetsons TV series. You can also look out into there through windows on the different floors. But other than that, CDG T1 is NOT a desirable terminal to pass though as the satellites, as AlexPorter said, are rather dumpy and get very crowded when you have multiple 747's boarding. And the security lines in there can be a disaster.
IAD is also neat with that retro '60's main terminal, but once again, is no model of efficiency; it wasn't built to handle the security requirements of today, hence long security lines. And don't get me started on those stupid mobile lounges and the 1980's-vintage bus terminal-like concourses with no moving sidewalks, limited retail/food concessions, and an overcrowded atmosphere during the main departure/arrival banks, especially in the evening. They sort of remind me of the way ATL was when I first flew into there back in the early '90's. However, the international concourse (Concourse B) is fine; its much wider, much more airy due to a high ceiling and windows over the walkway, and has much better gate/departure lounges that don't get nearly as overcrowded. But it can still get cramped in the evenings and still lacks moving walkways.
 
Viscount724
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RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 5):
Quoting Goldorak (Reply 4):
service : AF is much much better than UA, especially in Y : better food, free champagne, free alcohol on AF

I thought alcohol was free on transatlantic flight on UAL? I may be wrong since I don't drink.... but I actually think the opposite.

Alcohol is free in economy class only on UA transpacific flights. They charge for it on all other routes.
http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,51500,00.html

AF must be one of the very few carriers offering free Champagne (the real thing) in economy class, although virtually all European carriers offer all other alcoholic drinks free of charge on transatlantic routes. I fail to understand why so many people still fly US carriers on longhaul international routes when service is generally (a few exceptions but not many) much better on non-US carriers.

[Edited 2007-10-25 19:46:43]
 
cragley
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:09 pm

RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:36 am

To sum it up.........dissapointment.


Have a safe flight  Smile
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1636
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Sat Oct 27, 2007 1:40 am

Quoting Cragley (Reply 9):
To sum it up.........dissapointment.


Have a safe flight

Cragley,
i gonna bet that you are referring to UAL correct???? after continuing to read all these horrid stories about ual i think they should just shut down as some of us anal flyers will never be satisfied no matter how good a "sub par" airline treats you....now go back to your glass of kool aid and think who can i bitch about next!!!!
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
cragley
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:09 pm

RE: CDG-IAD On United: What To Expect?

Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:19 am

Dear Mr UADC8contrail,


Next time you have the 'pleasure' of flying UA longhaul, say across the pacific, get back to me  Smile

sub-par to what exactly? Being 'average' is no longer acceptable in any industry. And US average is very different than anywhere else in the world in terms of aviation.

P.S - we do not have kool-aid in Australia  Smile

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